Paradise Papers

What are the Paradise Papers?

Definition: The Paradise Papers refer to 13.4 million leaked documents that expose the methods that big corporations, high-net-worth individuals, and politicians use to avoid paying taxes. The details are for the period from 1950 to 2016 with 6.8 million documents being connected to Appleby, a law firm that specialized in providing offshore legal services.

What does Paradise Papers even mean?

The Paradise Papers were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. They include financial statements, email correspondence, and other details related to over 100 multinational corporations, a large number of celebrities, and world leaders.

The leaked files were studied by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an organization based in Washington D.C. Subsequently, 95 media partners of the ICIJ published various details about the secrets that the Paradise Papers revealed. The story broke across the world on November 5, 2017.

Why are they called the Paradise Papers? Many of the documents refer to offshore tax jurisdictions like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, and Mauritius. These places are known to be tax havens or “tax paradises” – hence, the name Paradise Papers.

Example of Paradise Papers

The leaked documents exposed many large corporations and wealthy individuals. The list included:

⇨ Apple – the iPhone manufacturer was accused of lowering its tax rate by taking advantage of the tax structure in the Channel Island of Jersey.

⇨ Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross – a top adviser to President Donald Trump, Wilbur Ross seemed to have financial connections with a Russian company.

⇨ The British Queen’s private estate provided funds to a company that was accused of using predatory lending practices.

⇨ Singer-songwriter Shakira used offshore locations to reduce her tax payments.

Summary

The Paradise Papers is a set of leaked documents that exposed the financial dealings of big firms, politicians, and famous celebrity tax evasion.